Built on a rich history of travel and trade, the city of Newport has always had a love affair with spirits, particularly rum. New Englanders historically drank more rum than any other spirit, thanks to the ample supply provided by the area's trade with the Caribbean Islands.
Today we're experiencing a rum revival as chic cocktails bars serve up delicious concoctions made with craft spirits. Gone are the frozen drinks with forgettable rums and the sweet spiced rum and Coke we used to swill. Instead, Newport craft distillery Thomas Tew Rums is producing small batches of aged rum that are perfect for enjoying at a Newport cocktail bar or at happy hour in your room at our Newport boutique hotels. Here a few ways to enjoy rum from this Newport distillery on your next visit.
First up, you can visit the Thomas Tew Rum distillery for a tour and tasting every day of the week except Tuesday. You can simply drop into the tasting room for a flight of rum and a self-guided tour (the distillery equipment is visible from the tasting room) or you can have a guided tour, offered 3pm daily. Born out of Newport Storm Brewery, this distillery began producing its first rum in 2006. They now make two varieties—the original Single Barrel rum, which, as its name implies, is bottled from a single barrel of rum (as opposed to blended from multiple barrels). The Widow's Walk Overproof white rum is light and buttery and perfect for mixing into cocktails.
You'll find Thomas Tew rums on many of Newport's craft cocktail lists; our favorite being the barrel-aged cocktail at The Revolving Door. This take on a Manhattan mixes Thomas Tew rum with Carpano Antica sweet vermouth and is aged, giving it an oaky richness. For something lighter, you'll want to pick up your own bottle of Thomas Tew Widow's Walk and make the Strawberry Fields cocktail. Cheers!
2 oz. Thomas Tew Widow's Walk rum
2 oz. fresh or frozen strawberries with syrup
1 oz. basil simple syrup
Muddle strawberry mix and basil syrup with rum in highball glass. Squeeze in lime, and add ice. Top with ginger beer or seltzer.